PublicationsAccelerated intermittent theta burst stimulation in major depressive disorder
BACKGROUND: Major depressive disorder [MDD] is expected to be the leading cause of overall global burden of disease by the year 2030 [WHO]. Non-response to first line pharmacological and psychotherapeutic antidepressive treatments is substantial, with treatment-resistant depression [TRD] affecting approximately one third of depressed patients. There is an urgent need for rapid acting and effective treatments in this population. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation [rTMS] is an non-invasive treatment option for patients with MDD or TRD. Recent studies have proposed new paradigms of TMS, one paradigm is accelerated intermittent Theta Burst Stimulation [aiTBS].
OBJECTIVE: This systematic review assesses the efficacy, safety and tolerability of aiTBS in patients with MDD.
METHODS: This review was registered with PROSPERO [ID number: 366556]. A systematic literature review was performed using Pubmed, Web of Science and PsycINFO. Case reports/series, open-label and randomized controlled trials [RCTs] were eligible for inclusion if they met the following criteria; full text publication available in English describing a form of aiTBS for MDD or TRD. aiTBS was defined as at least three iTBS treatments sessions per day, during at least four days for one week.
RESULTS: 32 studies were identified describing aiTBS in MDD, 13 studies described overlapping samples. Six articles from five unique studies met eligibility criteria; two open-label studies and three RCTs [two double blind and one quadruple blind]. Response rates directly after treatment ranged from 20.0% to 86.4% and remission rates ranged from 10.0 to 86.4%. Four weeks after treatment response rates ranged from 0.0% to 66.7% and remission rates ranged from 0.0% to 57.1%. Three articles described a significant reduction in suicidality scores. aiTBS was well tolerated and safe, with no serious adverse events reported.
CONCLUSIONS: aiTBS is a promising form of non-invasive brain stimulation [NIBS] with rapid antidepressant and antisuicidal effects in MDD. Additionally, aiTBS was well tolerated and safe. However, the included studies had small samples sizes and differed in frequency, intersession interval, neuro localization and stimulation intensity. Replication studies and larger RCTs are warranted to establish efficacy, safety and long term effects.